{"objectType":14,"id":2014,"valid":true}
2014
    Paul Sayer
Paul Sayer
Publisher, Wiley

Like many things, a good book starts with a great idea, but how do you develop that idea so that a publisher might be interested in working with you? Start by creating an initial proposal outlining your idea and why you think it would make a good publishing project. When submitting a proposal to a publisher, it pays to do a little research beforehand. For example, does the publisher publish books in your specific subject areas? A quick look on your own bookshelf or at an online bookstore can help you answer this question.

 

It is not necessary to have written the whole book before you approach a publisher. It is better to draft an overall plan and then to talk to a publisher at this early stage. If you are ready to submit a proposal to Wiley, we recommend you structure it along the following lines, so we can best evaluate your project:

 

1. Overview

It’s very helpful to cover the composition of the book by including an overview. Aim to develop a 200-300 word summary of the book's objectives and scope. Start by asking yourself the following:

  • What will the title be?
  • What will the book contain?
  • How will the selection, organization, or treatment of the subject encourage readers to buy this publication?

 

2. Contents

Include a table of contents indicating chapters and subdivisions within chapters, as well as any materials to be included in an appendix. A contents list should contain a short paragraph describing each chapter. Also, be sure to brainstorm and note any materials that might enhance an electronic edition, as most books are now published electronically as well as in print.

 

3. Readership

It is essential to think about who the book is for and important to ensure that a proposal contains detailed information on who will read the book. Please try to be specific and stress the major markets.

Consider the following:

  • What level is it pitched at?
  • If applicable, for which course(s) will it be used? Will it be required for supplementary reading?
  • Is its appeal international or confined to a particular geographic market?

 

4. Competing Titles

Points you should consider and explain are: Why is there a need for the proposed publication? For example, have there been changes in this field? Is there a gap in the existing literature that needs to be filled? Who is the intended audience for this material (e.g. academic/research, undergraduate or graduate students, professionals)? Are there any groups with an occasional need for this material?

 

We look carefully at any potentially competing titles, so it’s always good to see a list of publications that might compete with or are similar to the one you propose. Describing their weaknesses and strengths, as well as how your publication will be superior is also very useful. In all cases the more specific you can be the better.  This list should include:

  • The author, title, publisher, publication date, price and number of pages of the main competing titles.
  • Any unique features that will distinguish your book from the competition i.e. why should someone purchase your book as opposed to someone else's.

 

5. Timetable

Estimating how long a book will be is tricky, but quantifying the number of pages with any certainty is not the point (and not really possible either). A commissioning editor will be more interested in whether you think your book is going to be 100 pages, 250 pages or 750 pages long, providing insight into the proposed level or depth of coverage. Reflect upon the following:

  • What stage are you at now, and when do you hope to complete the manuscript?
  • How long is the final manuscript likely to be? (i.e. number of words)
  • How many line diagrams and photographs will there be?
  • Will there be any unusual text features, such as color or fold-outs?

 

6. Other relevant information

What else might go into a proposal? The more information, the better - for example, if you’re proposing an edited book you would want to include a list of your preferred team of contributors.

 

7. Submission

Can you identify the correct person to send the proposal to? Sometimes the answer is yes, sometimes no, but if you can you’ll get a much quicker response than if you send it to a general mailbox. For a listing of the names and e-mail addresses of Wiley’s commissioning editors, visit https://authorservices.wiley.com/contacts.asp. Finally, don’t forget to include a brief resume or cv.

    John Siever
John Siever
Senior Journal Production Editor, Wiley

I recently attended a talk by Anselm Spoerri where he outlined some basic principles of information visualization. Spoerri is a professor in the School of Communication at Rutgers University. His research and teaching focus is on Information Visualization, Information Retrieval & Knowledge Management, Multimedia Interfaces & Retrieval, and Computer Vision. The goal of Spoerri’s work is simple:

 

“Use human perceptual capabilities to gain insights into large data sets that are difficult to extract using standard query languages.”

 

Throughout his presentation, Spoerri emphasized the fact that human vision is an extremely robust and sensitive channel of information consumption. Humans are able to recognize small differences and variations in images when actively engaged, but also when passively engaged. This capability allows humans to identify and evaluate large amounts of visually presented data and information much more effectively than raw data. By using simple ideas such as position, color, motion, size, angle, etc. to represent variables of data, we can leverage human visual predisposition for clear communication, discovery, and insight.

 

In addition to this visual predisposition, another key point in Spoerri’s talk was the difference between Infographics and Information Visualization, specifically, that Infographics are static while Information Visualization is dynamic. Infographics present information, data, and knowledge very effectively as a narrative, but they do not allow the viewer to manipulate the variables of the data to uncover other insights. Information Visualization allows a viewer to become a user of data. They can interact and adjust the data variables to see results under different parameters as they see fit.

 

Spoerri went on to provide many good examples of basic visualization principles and Information Visualization. Some of the best examples came from the New York Times, in particular the following "How Different Groups Spend Their Day" interactive graphic:

 

NYT interactive infographic
Source: The New York Times. Click to access interactive graphic

This example in particular shows what can be achieved when basic principles and dynamic functionality are combined. But, most importantly, Spoerri made it clear through this and other examples that there is a simple idea underpinning everything: without organized and standardized data to apply these principles and tools to, it is hard to achieve much.

 

Open and carefully organized and standardized research data repositories in different disciplines are the life blood of data-based research. They are the fuel that can drive the engine of discovery. The most exciting and important data in all the worldaren't going to yield any insight when basic visual principles and information visualization tools are applied if they are messy, and located in various formats, and places.

 

So, it's crucial to keep these three tenets of human visual capabilities, information visualization concepts, and open, organized data repositories in mind and they will be a guide to presenting research clearly. Most importantly, they will allow others the chance to interact and understand the data from various perspectives and disciplines.

    Anne-Marie Green
Anne-Marie Green
Communication Manager, Wiley

Our "Day in the life" series featuring early career researchers continues with Brandon Locke, an MLIS student at the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He holds an MA in History from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and is interested in Digital Humanities, scholarly communication, and data curation.

 

Brandon Thomas Locke
Source: Brandon Thomas Locke

Q. What is your area of research and why did you decide to pursue it?
A.
Broadly speaking, my area of research and interest is the Digital Humanities. I became interested in DH at about the time I was applying for grad school in History. As I looked at current research and programs that interested me, I learned about emerging digital methods for investigating humanities questions, interrogating sources, and circulating research, and I knew I wanted to learn more. I decided to stay at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln for my MA, and grew interested in other facets of DH. I became captivated by the implications and potential for humanities research projects that are immersive, interactive, and openly accessible to everyone. I began to see the role of information infrastructure in the field, and the role of libraries and librarians in the creation and curation of digital humanities research. After completing my MA in History, I enrolled in Library and Information Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign to focus more on the infrastructure and service side of DH. I’m still interested in emerging methods of research of course, but I’m focused more on access, preservation, and education.

 

Q. What does a typical day look like for you?
A. Every day is a bit different for me, which is something I love about where I am. The composition of my day varies a bit depending on deadlines and my most pressing responsibilities. I have a graduate assistantship at Grainger Engineering Library, and that position is split between project work and time at the reference desk. There is also a lot of variability in the kinds of tasks required for my library projects - it can range from thesis digitization to web development to conducting research for the library. I also have an hourly research position on a large digital humanities project at Illinois called Emblematica Online. In addition to these jobs, I have readings, research, coding, papers, and presentations to prepare for my coursework. Most days include a little of each of these types of work, and include at least a few hours at a coffee shop.

 

Q. What has been the most challenging part of pursuing your MSLIS?
A. The most challenging part is balancing my time and learning to say “no.” There’s such a great community here at Illinois, and a lot of organizations working on social justice, technology and librarianship, and any number of library specializations. They’re all doing great things and sponsoring really valuable programming- it’s my natural inclination to join and help organize things. There are so many opportunities for research and collaboration, and I want to volunteer for almost all of them. I have had to be really careful about drawing the line on my activities and ensuring that I can give my full attention to all of my commitments.

 

Q. What has been the most rewarding or exciting part?
A. Answering reference questions at the library is definitely the most immediately rewarding part of my experience in LIS. I know that most of the work I do throughout the day is intended to contribute to someone’s research success now or in the future, but it’s really satisfying to be able to directly connect someone with the information they’re seeking. I really enjoy the service aspect of my work, and I hope that I can maintain these direct interactions with researchers throughout my career.

 

Q. What advantages do researchers of your generation possess?
A.
Access to digital resources is a huge advantage for researchers of my generation. Journal article databases are a boon to researchers across disciplines, and make it much easier to find relevant content. Digitized texts and full-text capabilities enable much of the cutting edge research in the humanities, and digital archival collections, newspapers, and open datasets make research considerably better, faster, and cheaper. However, I think there’s definitely a danger in relying too much on what’s accessible online. Researchers really need to interrogate the collections to make sure they know what’s included and what isn’t. Historians still need to travel to archives or conduct their own oral history interviews, not only because there are gaps in the digital collections, but also because it’s a valuable learning process. However, being able to access millions of articles and archival objects from your living room is definitely a benefit.

 

Q. What are the obstacles?
A. Tenure and promotion for young digital humanities scholars is a major issue at the present time. Tenure and promotion committees, especially in History, are used to seeing single-author monographs, not digital projects and collaborative scholarly output, and the process is dependent upon those artifacts of scholarship. The American Historical Association recently formed a Committee on Professional Evaluation of Digital Scholarship by Historians, which will create guidelines for collaborative scholarship, and scholarship in all different formats. A related issue is that of embargoes on open access electronic theses and dissertations (ETDs), which caused a stir last summer. Because humanities presses are accepting fewer projects, newly minted PhDs are embargoing their dissertations out of fear that presses will reject their derivative monographs. Scholars should make decisions about scholarly medium and openness based on what’s best for their scholarly output - they shouldn’t be so beholden to the strict and sometimes anachronistic requirements of tenure and promotion. While the AHA committee shows some hope for the future, it’s likely to be a slow and arduous process.

 

Q. How do you see libraries and publishers evolving in the future?
A. There are obviously a lot of areas of overlap for libraries and publishers, and I think everyone benefits if they can work together and collaborate on common goals. Digital curation of scholarship is an area for mutually beneficial collaboration in the future. There are some recent developments with enhanced HTML versions of articles that I think will be much better for future use by scholars, and I think that conversation needs to take place with both libraries and publishers at the table. Data publishing and data curation are emerging areas for publishers - especially in light of recent federal data access policies - and I think publishers could learn a lot from the mature models libraries have created.

 

Open access is an area where there is some contention between libraries and publishers, but I think there is some middle ground beyond the dichotomous rhetoric. I don’t think anyone is entirely pleased with either Green or Gold OA, and there are a few projects out there, like PeerJ and Knowledge Unlatched, that illustrate potential models for sustainable open access publishing.

 

Q. What do you hope to do after earning your MSLIS?
A.
I’m particularly interested in the infrastructure development, project management, and curation side of DH. I would like to work on a several projects at a time and collaborate with others across the campus, and those jobs are typically in Digital Humanities centers and libraries. I’m fortunate to be beginning a new position this fall in the Michigan State History Department as a Digital Social Science and Humanities Specialist. I’ll be coordinator for a new initiative, LEADR (Lab for the Education and Advancement in Digital Research), and will aid in curriculum development to enhance digital research for undergraduate and graduate students.

 

Q. What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
A. Well, in stereotypical graduate student fashion, I don’t have much free time. I do manage to get out of the house every now and again and socialize with other students in my program. I like to cook. I play basketball and I run and bike when the weather cooperates. I’ve spent a bit of time tinkering around in Makerspaces, and I really want to pursue that more in the future.

 

Thanks Brandon.

    Anne-Marie Green
Anne-Marie Green
Communication Manager, Wiley

We recently spoke to Denny Luan, co-founder of Experiment about crowdfunding for research and the future. Curiosity has led Denny down some very different paths, involving race cars, anthrax research, and microfinance.He has degrees from the University of Washington in biochemistry and economics, where he spent time making circuits out of bacteria.

 

Denny Luan
Source: Denny Luan

Q. When, how and why was Experiment started?
A. The idea for creating Experiment came from our own experiences in struggling for funding as young scientists. Having worked in prestigious research labs at traditionally well-funded universities, we saw first-hand the current state of science funding. To us, it just didn't make sense that legitimate researchers with hugely innovative ideas struggled so much to get those ideas off the ground. At the same time, we were frustrated that there were no ways for members of the general public to directly connect with real scientific research. It just seemed like a simple coordination problem, and so we looked towards the early lessons of successful social microfinance and peer-to-peer crowdfunding platforms for ways to solve these problems.

 

After failing to get a grant for a project, we came up with the idea for crowdsourced funding for science. We immediately went to 100 different researchers, ranging from tenured life science professors to undergraduates in social science, and asked if they would use a crowdfunding platform. Everyone said yes, so we taught ourselves how to code and built the platform ourselves. We launched in March 2012 and after funding six of the first nine projects, we decided to quit our jobs as researchers and focus on growing Experiment.

 

Q. What is your business model and how many projects have been funded through Experiment.com?
A. When we started Experiment, we knew that sustainability would be a goal in order to help us grow and expand our social mission. Because of that, our model is very closely tied to the success of the researchers. We take a small 5% transaction fee only if a project has met its funding goal. This helps us keep our site up and running. So far, we've funded over 140 projects to date.

 

The video below is featured on Experiment to promote funding for the project "Does fracking contaminate water with hormone inducing chemicals?" by Susan C. Nagel, PhD, University of Missouri.

 

 

Does fracking contaminate water with hormone disruptors? from Experiment on Vimeo.

 

Q. What do you feel is your competitive advantage over other research crowdfunding sites?
A. When we first launched with a small batch of nine projects nearly two years ago, there were actually many other science funding platforms out there in existence. However, we felt that none of the other platforms did a particularly good job of presenting the science, and that they were all very conceptually similar to existing creative crowdfunding websites. Our focus is research based, and our goal is to help share the scientific stories that are often hidden from the public. Everyone on our team is a scientist or comes from that world, and our sole focus is to help scientists share the moment of discovery.Everyone on our team is a scientist or comes from that world, so we know what it's like. Our sole focus is to help scientists share the moment of discovery by building a platform we would want to use.

 

Q. Why do you feel researchers have turned to crowdfunding to fund their research projects?
A.
It's an open secret in academia that science funding is broken. Part of the large acceptance of this is cultural, and also partly due to how we train young scientists today. It's expected that young investigators struggle for funding, balancing career development with real scientific progress, and it's unfortunate that today'sgeneration of scientists have conflated the two to be the same thing. Publish or perish has successfully invaded what types of science gets funded, who is likely to receive funding, and why certain topic areas get attention. This is pulling away our best and brightest minds from doing what they do best, which is asking questions and doing research. Crowdfunding is offering scientists a chance to break away from this system, and to pursue science in an uninhibited fashion. It's giving scientists an independent spirit, while also replacing ambigious grant review committees with real people - your friends, neighbors, and colleagues. We’re putting the ‘public’ back in publicly funded science, and we think it’s resonating with researchers today.

 

Q. Do you think crowdfunding will help to better democratize research funding?
A. Our goal is to democratize the entire scientific process - we're only starting with funding. Once scientists have their initial funding, the process of how they go on to conduct the research and how they disseminate the results is still locked up from the public. Our belief is that we only stand to benefit by opening up all of how science is done.

 

Q. Most of the research disciplines available are scientific, but you also have categories for Economics, Education and Psychology. Do you have plans to further expand into the social sciences and humanities?
A.
We've found that many people are deeply interested in funding and engaging with relevant social science research. There are a host of issues and potential projects that many members of our community are interested in funding, yet are the kinds of proposals that would normally struggle in today's grant system. This is particularly true for interdisciplinary research, which we're seeing more success with on Experiment. In the future, we definitely have big plans to expand the number of project categories, namely because one of our goals as an organization is to help map and understand the current landscape of scientific research.

 

Q. Do funders receive tangible rewards in exchange for their backing?
A.
The most important element of Experiment is the story behind each project. For someone who is passionate about breast cancer research or environmental ecology, being able to directly enable and participate in that project is the ultimate reward. When we first started, we made the intentional decision to stay away from tangible rewards. It makes sense for creative funding platforms, because the output of the creative process is a product. But because the output of the scientific process is knowledge, we think it's possible to present that new knowledge in a highly engaging way. This is what we're currently working on.

 

Q.Are projects in particular disciplines more apt to get backing? What projects are considered “sexy” to funders?
A. Initially we had the assumption that certain project areas would be more likely to receive funding than others. However, as we're quickly approaching our first $1 million in funded projects, we've actually found that this assumption isn't true. Instead, we've found that the biggest determinant behind a project's success is how engaged the researchers are in sharing their process. Because of this, we encourage all researchers to consider crowdsourced funding.We believe that all kinds of science can be sexy with the right story and angle.

 

Q. What’s next for Experiment?
A. It'd be nice if in the future we are able to fund a manned mission to mars, enable a cure for cancer, or build a time a machine. That's in no particular order. So that's the direction we're currently aiming at!

    Ben Norman
Ben Norman
Publicist, Wiley

Journalists at all levels of the media, from the local weekly newspaper to 24 hour rolling television news, share the common traits of being perennially understaffed and under pressure to find stories under tight deadlines. So how do you grab their attention?

Here are ten things to consider when evaluating your paper for publicity:

  

1.Relevance to Readership/Community.

Who do you imagine will read and engage with your paper? Readership is the most important aspect of a news article. The relevance of your story will depend entirely on which community you are targeting. When looking at your paper consider which groups are likely to be interested. Will it generate controversy only in one specific scientific field – or does it have broader interest? Would a reader of Die Zeit or USA Today be as interested in your research as someone with a PhD in the subject?

   
2.Meaningfulness.

How will this story affect people in everyday life? If your research is mass media newsworthy, then its ramifications won’t only be felt in the laboratory or on the conference floor, it will have a direct impact on daily life.

   
3.Discovery.

For a paper to be truly newsworthy, it must herald a new discovery or provide conclusive proof of an existing theory. A paper which simply agrees with a theory already in the public domain is not going to attract any attention in the wider media.

   
4.Impact/Scale.

How many people will your story affect? How long was the study? How widely felt will the repercussions be? Bigger is better in the world of news. A paper on rising sea levels and flood risks throughout Europe is obviously going to be more newsworthy than a drought in a lake in Wuppinton-on-sea.

   
5.Time Scale.

In the age of 24 hour rolling news, internet blogging, and social media a story can spread like digital wildfire and a print journalist is unlikely to publish it, if it has already gone around the world via blogs. News is very time dependent; it must be new on the day it goes to print. If the news item contained within your paper has already entered the public domain then its news value is inherently compromised.

   
6.Development.

If your paper is not announcing a new discovery, is it building upon an existing story which has caught public interest? Do you have a new slant on an old story?

   
7.Controversy.

What makes your paper stand out from the other papers in the field or in your journal? Does it have a unique selling point? Will it raise eyebrows on the morning commute? Controversy in a news sense does not mean outlandish or odd, it merely means different. The old media adage says that Man Bites Dog is a far more interesting headline than Dog Bites Man simply because it bucks the trend.

   
8.Source.

This is perhaps the easiest factor of news value from a science perspective. All a journalist needs to know is that the paper comes from a qualified academic/researcher and from a respected reputable journal. A reputation is damaged by sending out releases which lack news value.

   
9.Angle.

The big news tends to be bad news – War generates more coverage then peace and bus crashes make more headlines then the hundreds of buses which arrive safely at their destination. The angle does not need to be sensational. Indeed, if a story strays from fact in the slightest degree the source will no longer be trusted by the journalist or the readership. Remember, good news value does not have to equate to good news.

   
10.Human Interest.

Are the findings something which people can relate to, either through experience or on an emotional level? Will it impact on their everyday lives? If your story has a human interest angle, it may be news. Thousands of magazines, papers, and freelancers are dedicated to human interest stories. Sometimes these stories are of the ‘parrot killed my grandmother' variety or, occasionally, of the cheerier ‘parrot owning grandmother wins lottery’ persuasion – either way they each have an ‘it could happen to me’ angle. For example, papers on why people feel emotions, the psychology behind falling in love, or why dogs develop ‘a guilty look’ all have this angle.

 

If your research has news value, you may wish to contact the press team at your institution or funding body. Visit the Wiley Press Room for examples of successful press releases, Wiley’s embargo policy, and a quick guide to PR for authors.

    Victoria Dickerson 
Victoria Dickerson
Associate Editor for Technology and New Media, Family Process 

Before Google, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, there was the printed word.  Most of us learned new information, shared our ideas, promoted our research, and generally connected though a learning community by reading, writing, and publishing papers through established journals.  A colleague recently told me that when she was writing what became a well-known article in the family therapy field in the early 1990s, she sent it to a respected academician, who would read and critique it by hand on a lined yellow pad, and then mail it back to her.  These days that is all but unfathomable.  Before email and attachments, we used facsimile machines (some still do).  Now, with the Microsoft Word editing function, we can quickly turn around what was once a time-consuming process.  Beyond that, now we can promote our ideas and our articles, not only with social media, but also with add-ons that both complement the work and enhance it.

What we at Family Process have found to be most useful to promote our articles is the video abstract.  What is a video abstract? It is essentially a short video introduction that interests the reader in one’s article. The article does have a text abstract but the video supplement adds a new dimension and draws new readers to the article.

Research conducted by Wiley’s marketing team in 2012-2013, shortly after we at the journal Family Process began to utilize video abstracts, showed that :

Without exception, the articles with video abstracts were downloaded more than those without.  The full-text version of articles (HMTL and PDF) with video abstracts were downloaded an average of 115 times per month.  Articles without video abstracts were downloaded an average of 63 times.  Articles with video abstracts had 82% more full-text downloads.

We have continued to invite and encourage our authors to create video abstracts for their articles.  Our instructions are straightforward, suggesting the use of the computer webcam and built-in microphone for recording.  We ask that the presenters limit their time to 3-5 minutes, that they are careful about the background, and that they prepare their talk as they would any thoughtful presentation.  They then upload the video to You Tube, after which time we review it and sometimes, but rarely, make suggestions; they then add it to our You Tube channel: FamilyProcess1, where each video is placed in the appropriate playlist.

We feature one or two articles for each issue, using our channel to show the video as the trailer.  Because we have an Earlyview capability, we solicit early video abstracts, so they can be available when the article goes live.  Most recently, we had two of three articles with video abstracts on Earlyview.  We have also asked authors to prepare two video abstracts in two different languages since some of our articles are translated into Spanish and some into Mandarin.  Here are some examples:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jwPcBXe-hlo

The above is an English version of a video abstract for the article: “Parenting Styles and Parents’ Perspectives on How Their Own Emotions Affect the Function of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders” by Ting Zhou and Chunli Yi, in the March 2014 Family Process.

Below is the abstract in Mandarin.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CY0GvYMynCc

Here’s an abstract for an article by Carmen Valdez:  “Fortalezas Familares Program: Building Sociocultural and Family Strengths in Latina Women with Depressing and Their Families” in the September 2013 Family Process:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Md1ConV34Pw&index=6&list=FL0Up3EkKSTx1XXLc6G1dxGA

And here's the Spanish version:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-DhAs64-2YQ&list=FL0Up3EkKSTx1XXLc6G1dxGA&index=4

Having recently read Ryan Watkins account of using video presentations for assessing critical thinking, I checked out his template for making videos at  WeShareScience.  This is an easy-to-use set of instructions for making any kind of video presentation.

Now that we realize how effective video abstracts can be, we are continuing to refine and improve our process.   As Adam Shlachter, Head of Media Activation at DigitasLBi said in a recent blog from MadAveMobile, video is “one of the most significant formats and mediums that we have for brands to connect with their consumers, to tell stories, to bring them great content,”

Scientific integrity

Posted May 19, 2014
    Fred Dylla
Fred Dylla
Executive Director, American Institute of Physics

Are scholarly publications any more reliable or trustworthy than the general press? Does the publishing process build in sufficient checks and balances or is it remarkably flawed? Reports of fraudulent or retracted articles from the body of scholarly literature might suggest a crisis in scholarly publishing. There have been a number of sting operations to test the publishing process and expose publishers who publish bogus articles that have attributions of scholarly work. Retraction Watch, founded by Ivan Oransky and Adam Marcus, keeps track of journal articles that have been retracted for any reason—some legitimate, such as an author admitting that mistakes were made in the original submission, and some more serious, such as forced retractions because the underlying science or its reporting was indeed fraudulent.

 

Airing out this dirty laundry keeps the publishing industry in check, but it also captures the attention of the popular press and its predictable fallout of sensationalism. Last October’s cover story in The Economist, Unreliable Research: Trouble at the Lab, is one visible, highly cited example. Stories on so-called predatory publishers and the rising number of retracted articles support the not-so-veiled accusation that the scholarly publishing business has serious quality-control problems, if not unbridled issues with integrity.

 

How can researchers and publishers effectively respond? A session entitled “Ethics and Trust in Journal Publishing: How Sound is the System?,” presented at the 2014 Spring Conference of the International Association of Scientific, Technical and Medical Publishers, addressed this concern. Among the presenters were editorial directors Ivan Oransky and Chris Graf, and science journalists John Bohannon and Phil Davis.

 

Retraction Watch has grown to become a valuable auditing service for the journal business. Without question, a fully retracted article is the most egregious error that can occur in this form of communication. Reputable journals post and archive an article’s official version of record and append any errata or notice of retraction that may subsequently occur. Retraction Watch adds another layer of transparency to this error correction. In addition, since it covers all fields of scholarly publication, it provides some measure of industry-wide statistics. I observe that the numbers are telling in that they are very small in comparison to publication totals. Retraction Watch posted approximately 500 newly retracted articles in 2013. Compare this number to the nearly 2 million articles that were published in more than 28,000 scholarly publications last year. That puts fully retracted articles at about 0.02% of the annual publication volume. Also of note is that the large majority of the retractions listed on Retraction Watch are in biomedical or clinical fields. These research areas clearly have more difficult problems in establishing reproducible starting conditions (cell lines, animal cohorts, well-characterized reagents, etc.) than other areas within the physical sciences. Practitioners in medical fields are aware of these problems and are taking steps to improve the reproducibility of experimentation by redoubling certification and testing procedures.

 

Last spring, Science reporter John Bohannon wrote about his sting operation that uncovered a cohort of largely “pay-to-play” publishers that were willing to publish almost anything vaguely scientific as long as the author forked over a publishing fee [Who’s Afraid of Peer Review?, Science, 342, 6154 (2013)]. Bohannon submitted a paper on completely fabricated research to more than 300 open access journals around the world. 255 responded and an astounding 157 accepted the manuscript for publication. Most of these publishers were new, hailing from developing countries, but a few were established and respected in the industry. Bohannon followed his faux article’s path from submission, to author payment, to acceptance by the publisher. He also traced facade addresses in Western locations and circuitous routes that the payments were funneled to hide the identity of certain publishers. By publicizing the existence of these shadowy enterprises and exposing their methods, he does the industry, our authors, and readers a great service. But the success of this venture may have biased his vision as an investigative reporter, as he expressed his own personal distrust of the industry.

 

I stress that it’s important to take a step back and see these deficiencies in context. Quantifying retractions, such as offered by Oransky, gives good definition to the problem. By categorizing those publishers exposed by Bohannon and by other sting operations summarized by panelist and independent researcher Phil Davis, we see that the great majority are new to the scene of scholarly publishing and from developing countries where the tradition of industry integrity is not yet ingrained.

 

The system is not perfect, but errata and retraction statistics belie a miniscule error rate compared to any other communications media. More importantly, the system is self-correcting. It may take time, but bad science or fraudulent science will eventually be smoked out—from the early 20th century Piltdown Man to the Hendrik Schön affair at Bell Labs a decade ago. As a whole, scholarly publishers and the academic community practice due diligence to maintain the integrity of published works.

 

Several large publishers have started to conduct annual ethics audits to assure that their policies and procedures are well followed and effective in ferreting out misconduct and substandard manuscripts. Chris Graf spoke about his experience reviewing such audits for Wiley. Graf also serves on the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE), a forum for editors and publishers of peer-reviewed journals to discuss and advise on publication ethics. AIP Publishing journals belong to COPE, as do 8500 other scholarly journals from around the world (including Wiley's). By belonging, editors and publishers recognize that the system is imperfect, but we nevertheless have faith in it and are committed to continually improve it. Science depends on our commitment.

 

The above post was originally published on the American Institute of Physics website and is reprinted with permission.

    Kimi Sugeno
Kimi Sugeno
Associate Director, Digital Book Services, Wiley

We’re pleased to announce that EPUB 3 is Wiley’s standard for e-books in reflowable format as of February 1, 2014. Wiley delivers e-books in the EPUB 3 format to all of its distribution partners and retail accounts, including Amazon and Apple iBooks, and is among the first publishers to distribute all of its professional and STEM books in EPUB 3.

So what does this mean for you, the reader? The EPUB 3 standard is highly adaptable and combines digital publishing with HTML5 and other features of Open Web Platform which will allow you a richer reading experience. Wiley’s specification is also completely compatible with existing EPUB 2 reading systems.

Wiley has been a leading advocate of EPUB 3 and an active voice in its development and adoption by publishers and booksellers through its engagement with industry groups such as the Book Industry Study Group (BISG), International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF), AAP EPUB 3 Implementation Project, and the World Wide Web Consortium’s (W3C) Digital Publishing Interest Group. Wiley’s participation in the EDUPUB Alliance recognizes the benefits of EPUB 3 for Education content. Through active involvement with EPUBTEST, Wiley advocates for wider support of EPUB 3 by manufacturers of e-reader platforms and devices.

“BISG, which endorses EPUB 3 as the de facto standard for representing, packaging, and encoding structured and semantically enhanced Web content, applauds this move by Wiley,” said Book Industry Study Group Executive Director Len Vlahos. “That a publisher of Wiley’s size and stature is formally adopting the standard, is a crucial and important step forward for EPUB 3. This benefits not only Wiley’s customers and clients, but the entire book ecosystem. ”

In addition to the standard features of reflowable eBooks, Wiley EPUB 3 e-books feature:

  • Tables that adapt to screen size, and are accessible to readers who may rely on read-aloud functionality.
  • Mapping to print edition pages, to enable side-by-side e-book and print-book use, with reading systems that support page display driven by EPUB 3, such as iBooks.
  • Increased Accessibility through semantic structuring
  • Audio and video in select titles

With EPUB 3 as the foundation, we can soon offer enhanced features as e-reader systems and device support expands. Examples are

  • Interactivity such as multiple choice questions
  • Dynamic resizing of images without loss of clarity or definition
  • Support for multi-column layout and right-to-left reading, among other presentational alternatives
  • Reflowable math that supports search and read-aloud functionality
  • Embedded descriptions of images that make photographs, drawings, and charts accessible for read-aloud and other assistive technologies
    Jenny Neophytou
Jenny Neophytou
Bibliometrics Analyst, Wiley

Since 2009, the number of journal research papers has increased at an average of 4% per year.1 Within this growing (and rapidly changing) research environment, citation metrics continue (rightly or wrongly) to be used to benchmark the performance of journals, institutions, and even individual academics.

 

The core principle of citation metrics is the assumption that when an article is cited by another academic, it has had an impact on their research. The validity of this assumption is a matter of debate – after all, there are many reasons why an academic might choose to cite another person’s work, and those reasons do not always reflect the ‘quality’ of the cited work. Nevertheless, citations provide a way to measure the extent to which the published academic community has engaged with a given piece of research.

 

Another factor common to most citation metrics is that they are journal level metrics, and, for the most part, average counts of citations per paper (within set parameters). This means that most citation metrics do not tell us anything about individual papers, or individual authors, within a given journal.

 

There are many factors beyond academic quality that can influence the rate at which an article is cited. The purpose of this post is to provide guidance on the various types of citation metrics that are available, including the background to those metrics, what they tell us, and crucially, what they do not tell us about academic behavior. It is crucial that these factors are considered before metrics are used in any decision-making process:

 

  • Discipline. In particular, social science and humanities disciplines tend to cite more slowly, and cite a larger proportion of books (as opposed to journals) compared with scientific disciplines. Citation metrics should not be compared across disciplines unless this is accounted for (i.e. the SNIP metric (see below)).
  • Document type. Review papers tend to attract the most citations; case studies tend to attract the fewest citations. That is not necessarily a comment on the research quality – just the type of research produced. Usually, ‘non-substantive’ papers, such as meeting abstracts and editorials, are excluded from the denominator of citation metrics.
  • Age of research cited. Older articles will have more citations. If using a metric that measures ‘total citation counts’, keep in mind that the metric will be skewed towards older papers, or towards academics who have been in their careers for a longer period of time.
  • The data source. There are many sources of citation information (i.e. Web of Science, Scopus, Google Scholar), and the citation scores for a single article are likely to be higher in the largest database (Google Scholar). Most citation metrics are tied to a single database, however not all are. In these instances, it is important to note the data source.

 

Overview of Key Metrics:

  • 5-Year Impact Factor Data source: Web of Science. Published in the annual Journal Citation Reports. Average citations in the JCR year to substantive papers (articles, proceedings papers, reviews) published in the previous 5 years.
  • Altmetrics Metrics based on a broad spectrum of indicators, such as tweets, blog mentions, social bookmarking, etc. For more details see this blog posting on Wiley Exchanges: http://exchanges.wiley.com/blog/2013/05/20/article-level-metrics-painting-a-fuller-picture/.
  • Eigenfactor Data source: Web of Science. Published in the annual Journal Citation Reports. Based on weighted citations in the JCR year (excluding journal self-citations) to papers published within the previous 5 years. Citations are weighted according to the prestige of the citing journal (i.e. citations from top journals ‘mean more’ than citations from lesser journals). The mathematics of the calculation are akin to the PageRank calculations that Google uses in its ranking algorithms.
  • Google Scholar Metrics Data source: Google Scholar. These are ‘rolling metrics,’ i.e. based on a continually changing dataset. The main Google Scholar journal metric is the H5 index. This is very similar to the H-Index (explained below) but limited to papers published within the past 5 years.
  • H-index Data source: Any. An article level measure designed to evaluate individual authors, but which can be extended to any dataset. The H-index indicates the number of papers, H, that have been cited at least H times, e.g. an H-index of 15 means that 15 papers have been cited at least 15 times each. This metric does not control for the age of documents or citations, and can be calculated from any citation database. Caution is advised, as the same group of articles will yield a different H-Index in different databases.
  • Immediacy Index Data source: Web of Science. Published in the annual Journal Citation Reports. Average citations in the JCR year to substantive papers published in the same year. This is really an indication of how rapidly research is cited. Journals with a high Immediacy Index will usually be journals representing a fast-paced research environment.
  • Impact Factor Data source: Web of Science. Published in the annual Journal Citation Reports. Average citations in the JCR year to substantive papers published in the previous two years.
  • SJR Data source: Scopus. Published in the SCImago journal and country rank reports.The SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) is based on weighted citations in Year X to papers published in the previous 3 years. Citations are weighted by the ‘prestige’ of the citing journal, so that a citation from a top journal will ‘mean more’ than a citation from a low-ranked journal. As with the Eigenfactor, the calculation is broadly similar to the Google PageRank algorithm.
  • SNIP Data source: Scopus. Published twice yearly on CWTS Journal Indicators.The Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) measures average citations in Year X to papers published in the previous 3 years. Citations are weighted by the ‘citation potential’ of the journal’s subject category, thereby making the metric more comparable across different disciplines.


Useful Links
Altmetrics:http://www.altmetrics.org
CWTS Journal Indicators: http://www.journalindicators.com/indicators
Google Scholar: http://scholar.google.com
Google Scholar Metrics: http://www.google.com/intl/en/scholar/metrics.html#metrics
Journal Citation Reports: http://www.isiknowledge.com/jcr
Scopus: http://www.scopus.com
SCImago Journal & Country Ranks:http://scimagojr.com
Web of Science: http://www.isiknowledge.com

 

1 ©Thomson Reuters (2014) – Web of Science. Includes articles and reviews indexed in the Science Citation Index – Expanded, Social Science Citation Index and Arts & Humanities Citation Index. Retrieved May 6th, 2014, from www.isiknowledge.com.

    Harriet Groom
Harriet Groom
MRC National Institute for Medical Research
peer review
Image by Harriet Groom. Click to enlarge.

I recently attended Sense About Science’s “Peer Review: The Nuts & Bolts” workshop, run as part of their Voice of Young Science program, to discuss the merits of peer review and its impact on science communication. So, what is peer review and should you care? Yes everyone should care! Peer review is a process that scientific findings undergo before they are published in a journal. It involves several people in your field (your peers) assessing the quality of your work, usually anonymously. This process also applies to most applications for funding. As a practicing scientist, peer review is something you take for granted and is only usually contemplated when trying to publish a paper or when you are invited to consider one for publication. We sometimes forget that peer review of our work is crucial, especially for the public’s perception of science. Based on my own experiences, and following scientific coverage in the media, I believe that accurate and unbiased reporting of science is extremely important. This is facilitated by the iterative quality control step provided by peer review. Although the various peer review systems are not flawless, I think they are our best options, but I was eager to see whether the workshop would change my mind.

 

 

The half-day workshop featured discussion of these topics as well as a panel. The latter included Alice Ellingham, Director at Editorial Office Limited, who spoke about the role of peer review services in the process and how they interact with journals and authors. This was an eye-opening insight into an aspect of article review that is not much acknowledged. She spoke about challenges they face in streamlining peer review, a necessarily time-consuming process, as well as the importance of providing an audit trail. This is imperative in a world where one leaked email can influence the public’s whole perception of an issue and the credibility of scientists as a whole. John Gilbert, Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal of Science Education spoke about the requirements of being a reviewer in assessing a manuscript and in furthering the described science. He also highlighted the difficulty in finding good, reliable reviewers given the commitment required from individuals in increasingly small communities of researchers. Should the time that scientists spend on this important task be more formally recognized? Finally, Elizabeth Moylan, Biology Editor at BioMed Central, spoke about her experiences overseeing editorial policies and peer review. This included consideration of newer approaches to peer review such as open models where the reviewers and authors know each other – something quite foreign to me as a molecular biologist.

 

It was clear from both the existence of the workshop and its discussions that the traditional peer review process is not perfect. This was highlighted in January with the explosion on twitter of #SixWordPeerReview, with many tweets parodying common poor reviewing habits. Jokes aside, these do highlight the lack of training scientists receive before embarking on peer review and the difficulties that come with blind review.

 

Alternative models exist including F1000, eLIFE, and Peerage of Science with post-publication “crowd-sourced” review and other review systems. Personally, I believe that evolution will determine the best system. If new models with faster publication systems and high impact arrive on the scene, then this will drive change, as we have seen with open access. However, I believe that speed and transparency must not be championed at the cost of quality. Once a piece of work is in the public domain, then the lay person is at the mercy of their own knowledge and the context in which the science is reported for its interpretation. One can argue that science is self-correcting but in the biomedical sciences, where stakes are high, *peer* review is essential and, in my opinion, should occur pre-publication.

 

Sense About Science want the public to ask “Is it peer reviewed?” when they read any sort of scientific claim. We should be teaching peer review in schools alongside critical analysis to allow future generations to make informed judgements and to be wary of sensationalist or biased reporting. At the same time, scientists should be better trained and acknowledged in their roles as judges of their peers.


Join the debate and ask “Is it peer reviewed?”.

    Lee Skallerup Bessette
Lee Skallerup Bessette
Morehead State University

The post below was first published in the online magazine Women in Higher Education under the title "What's your brand? Professional branding and you."

 

Brand image
Source: Oko_SwanOmurphy / Thinkstock

The concept of personal and professional branding is gaining prominence among higher education professionals. Traditional academics look for ways to differentiate themselves from the hundreds of other applicants vying for increasingly scarce tenure-track positions; one of the ways they can do so is to create a cohesive academic brand for themselves. But the same concepts can apply for higher education professionals looking to move up the administrative ranks. Dr. Paula Thompson, a career coach with Academic Coaching and Writing (ACW), has some advice for getting started with your professional brand.

 

Thompson has supported faculty development and career success as an assistant dean for faculty affairs at the University of Southern California and as program director for faculty development at Duke University School of Medicine. She specializes in coaching high-performing individuals as they strive toward achieving their next level of personal and professional success.

 

Getting started
Thompson addressed why women leaders, in particular, should consider developing a brand for themselves: “It is an opportunity to take stock of where you are in your career, but also to take a hard look at what is possibly holding you back.”

Academia can be generally hostile to the idea of branding, with its corporate roots and capitalistic implications. Branding, however, “is about taking control of how people see you,” explained Thompson.

“It isn't just about how you present yourself digitally, either,” she continued. “Branding is about presenting a coherent version of yourself both online and in face-to-face interactions.” It also isn't just about self-promotion, something that women in particular have been socialized to avoid, but about putting you in the driver's seat and “allowing you to tell the story you want to tell about yourself, your scholarship and your leadership,” asserted Thompson.

An academic brand articulates a clear and cohesive statement about you, which can include visual images, written products, online presence and personal interactions. A well-crafted brand sets you apart as a thought leader; it also highlights your contributions through both traditional media and online platforms. Branding can increase the visibility and impact of your work, grow and cultivate your academic support network and generate new career opportunities both within the academy and beyond.

Step by step
In your strategy, you will be combining traditional scholarship with public engagement in an effort to create a professional and consistent brand.

You should start by defining your brand. “What is your area of expertise or experience that makes you unique?” Thompson explains.

It is important not to down-sell or refuse credit when defining your brand. You might not always feel like a leader, particularly if the move is from a more traditional faculty role into an administrative position. However, own your accomplishments and your strengths in order to maintain a clear definition and vision for your brand.

The next step is to develop a plan. What are the strategies you are going to use to get your brand in front of the right people, both digitally and in on-the-ground interactions? These strategies need to be in sync and developed in tandem.

“Potential employers Google you, whether they are supposed to or not,” explained Thompson, “but they also talk to their colleagues. Your online and face-to-face interactions and brand must be consistent for these reasons.”

Some questions to consider:

  • Who are the people or where are the places within your own institution where you need to be seen and heard?
  • What are the conferences (locally, regionally, nationally, internationally) where you can most effectively network and promote your brand?
  • What more traditional media outlets are available where you can get your message to a wider audience?
  • Which social media platforms are your audience most engaged in?

 

Now that you know who your target audience is and where they congregate, it is important to begin engaging with them, while also making sure that there is consistent messaging in all communications and engagement you have with them.

 

  1. Develop a shorter and longer biography that can be used in various situations and that figure prominently on your main web presence.
  2. Put the address of your primary web presence in your email signature, on your business cards and in any brief biography that appears in conference programs or alongside by-lines.
  3. Always link to work you have previously done, as this helps create a cohesive professional narrative and evolution toward your current professional goals.

 

Finally, once the plan has been enacted for a set period of time, take the time to evaluate what you have accomplished, adjust as necessary and then work to further amplify. These periodic check-ins are important to monitor how successful you have been in your efforts.

 

Make sure your plan includes a timeline with clearly defined goals at various points, in order to be able to accurately gauge how successful you have been in your efforts. If you haven't met your target, ask yourself if the target itself was unrealistic or if your strategy was ineffective.

 

These periodic check-ins can also lead you right back to the beginning: is my brand clearly defined? Does it accurately represent how I want to be seen? Always remember that it is ok to learn from your mistakes and to let go of what doesn't work. But also remember to be patient: “This kind of work takes time!” Thompson reminded us.

 

Some challenges
Thompson cautioned those who want to “jump the gun” on the steps in this process: “It is important that you complete one step before moving to the next, or else the efforts will be wasted on an inconsistent or incomplete brand.” The process is labor-intensive. Without a clear vision, proper planning and implementation strategies, the branding project can get side-tracked, ultimately leading to the project going unfinished.

 

One of the biggest challenges can be re-branding yourself in an environment that might not be open to change, or where you are already understood and defined in very set ways. This is where your online and social media efforts can be very empowering.

 

“Perhaps initially, you choose to focus your efforts entirely online,” Thompson explained, “but once you are successful at promoting your new brand online and have received positive feedback and reinforcement, it can inspire you to make similar changes in your interactions on your own campus.”

 

This work can be quite difficult and overwhelming, not to mention intimidating. “Women in particular are taught that we aren't supposed to boast or brag about our accomplishments, so this kind of work can represent a major transgression of our gender norms, both personally and professionally.” Having a coach like Thompson can help with not only walking through the steps of creating a brand, but also overcoming the mental hurdles that hold us back from even beginning the process.

 

One of the biggest benefits of going through this process is that it reveals how we might be seen and how much we have accomplished, and challenges us to create a cohesive narrative that brings the two together in empowering ways. Thompson concluded, “When you think of people who have clear, cohesive and visible academic brands, usually the list that you could name off the top of your head includes a lot of men. We need to change that.”

 

“When you think of people who have clear, cohesive and visible academic brands, usually the list that you could name off the top of your head includes a lot of men. We need to change that.”

    Desirée Zicko
Desirée Zicko
Books Channel Marketing Manager, Wiley

Amazon_booksAmazon is frequently the first place book-buying customers turn to for information on all sorts of new books, from the latest bestselling fiction and non-fiction to professional and scholarly texts. As an author, or simply as an informed consumer, you may have wondered about pricing and discoverability on Amazon. Here are the top 3 questions we hear from our authors:

  1. How does Amazon set the price for my book? Pricing for books is controlled by Amazon and is based on a number of factors including inventory levels, competition, bestseller status, and promotions. You may notice variation on the price from time to time; this is not unusual.
  2. How does Amazon decide on sales rankings? The Amazon Best Sellers calculation is based on Amazon sales and is updated hourly to reflect recent and historical sales of every item sold on Amazon.
  3. How does the Amazon search engine work? For general keyword queries, Amazon searches for the words in the title, author, and subject fields. This makes it extremely important to have accurate data on the site. The search engine also pulls in products with appropriate keywords which you provided with copy for your book.

 

Meta-data is the building block of your book’s unique Amazon page, designed to provide customers with the most relevant information. At Wiley, the publishing team works behind the scenes to make sure your book’s critical meta-data is correct and ready to feed out to Amazon,six months ahead of publication. Your book’s meta-data consists of many pieces of information (including the cover, copy, endorsements, bibliographic information, and the files for the “Look Inside the Book” function).

 

Once your book’s product page is set up, there’s still a key role for the author to play. Through a few simple steps you can help increase your book’s discoverability and sales on Amazon:

 

1. Populate your keyword search. Improve the effectiveness of online search results and your book’s ranking on Amazon (and other online retailers) by suggesting keywords or search terms that apply to your book’s title or topic. We can add up to 100 words (with a limit of 2,000 characters) for each book.

 

2. Encourage customer reviews. Customer reviews can be very influential to potential consumers. If you know people who have read your book (including colleagues, clients, and friends) consider asking them to write a review. Remember, it doesn't matter where the book was purchased, if it was a gift, or if the reviewer just borrowed it for a weekend. If someone feels moved to write a review, and they are a registered Amazon customer, they are welcome to do so. Writing and posting a review is quick and easy, and often has a considerable impact on sales.

 

For best results, reviewers should follow Amazon’s General Review Creation Guidelines. Note, Amazon reviews can only be made by customers with an active Amazon account within their specific country. Amazon best practice and review guidelines are generally consistent for each region. For more information, visit your local Amazon website (US, CA, UK, DE, CN).

 

Bear in mind, once a review is posted to Amazon it is there indefinitely. There is no expiration date on customer reviews. Amazon reserves the right to restrict or remove any and all uses or Content that they determine in their sole discretion to be harmful to their systems, network, reputation, or goodwill, to other Amazon customers, or to any third party, as outlined in Amazon’s non-exhaustive list of prohibited conduct and content.[1]

 

3. Create an Author Page. Help your readers get to know you and your books better by setting up your own page on Amazon’s Author Central. Your Author Page can be customized to display your biography, photos, as well as videos and links to social media. Check out these examples: William Irwin, Galit Shmueli, and Vaclav Smil.

 

√ To start your own page, set up your Author Central account if you haven’t already done so. In Author Central, click the Profile tab. You’ll see sections for adding or changing your biography, photos, videos, speaking or other events, and blog feeds. Click the add or edit link next to a section. Instructions appear, along with space to add information.

 

Note, if you don’t add information to a section, that section does not appear on the Author Page. Sections are always available in Author Central so you can add or change the information later. It can take up to 5 days for an Author Page to appear on Amazon.[2]

 

4 . Know how reviews are ranked. Reviews are spotlighted, or moved to the top of the list of reviews, based on how well the review was written and how helpful it was deemed by Amazon customers. Spotlight Reviews are calculated on a daily basis for most items in Amazon’s catalog with customer reviews.[3]

 

Review rankings are calculated through usage of Amazon’s ‘Was this review helpful to you?’ Yes/No prompt. Amazon customers can also comment on other reader reviews using the “Comment” link next to “Was this review helpful to you?”

 

Review rankings are the simplest way to get a good review of your book moved to the top of the list and a bad review moved to the bottom.

 

5. Link to your product. Remember to add the link to your book’s Amazon product page to your email signature, blog, and/or website.

 

    Ryan Watkins
Ryan Watkins
George Washington University

As a faculty member I sometimes, more frequently than I like to admit, feel that I just can’t read one more paper. This is especially true in my online courses where the vast majority of the conversation and assessment of student learning comes through online text. Yet even when teaching on-campus, by the end of the day (especially toward the end of the semester) my fingers and eyes are simply tired.

So what about video? For the last 18 months I have been trying out video-based, rather than text-based, assignments to assess student learning. To be clear -- this is not for every assignment, but where it seems to make the most sense. Much as instructors might do with individual or group presentations, I simply ask students to create short videos, for example, about the research they are reading in the class (rather than 10 or 15 page term papers). Using the videos, I can then assess the student’s ability to apply critical thinking skills to the research they are reading. I do not, however, assess the videos on their technical quality (though the results just from using smartphones or the built-in cameras in laptops are often impressive).

In developing these assignments I also created the WeShareScience platform to be a useful, and free, set of tools for creating and implementing these assignments. Students have the option to create the videos using tools built into the site, and by setting up “boards” I can easily organize the videos by class. The videos are shared publicly, but students can remove them after the assignment is graded if they wish.

You can also use video as a tool for students (for example, graduate students) to discuss their own research. These student videos can also be entered into the 2014 5-Minute Science Fair. The 2014 Science Fair will award more than $11,000 in prizes, and is accepting entries until June 1, 2014.

To give you some ideas, here is a sample of the assignment guidelines available on WeShareScience:

Assignment: Analysis of Research Articles
Create three (3) short video abstracts for three (3) research articles. The abstracts should summarize the basic elements of the research and how the results relate to practice. You can create the video abstracts using the online presentation tool at www.WeShareScience.com, using PowerPoint on your computer, or using the webcam on your computer or cell phone. Each video abstract should be no more than 5 minutes long, focusing more on the content of the research article than on the production of the video.

Each video abstract will be graded on...

  • Background on research (theory, hypotheses, researchers, etc.) -- (20%)
  • What they did (description of what the researchers actually did in the study) -- (30%)
  • What they learned (what results came from the research) -- (20%)
  • How we can apply (what applications does the research offer for practitioners) -- (20%)
  • Creativity in presentation -- (10%)

 

I'll leave you with two examples below....

    Alice Meadows
Alice Meadows
Director of Communications, Wiley
David Sweeney
Source: David Sweeney

Q. Please can you tell us a little about your current position and responsibilities?
A. I’m Director of Research Innovation & Skills for HEFCE (the Higher Education Funding Council of England), with responsibility for research funding, assessment, knowledge exchange, and skills. I’m also responsible for the Catalyst Fund (which supports innovative projects from English universities) and the Research Partnership Investment Fund (which funds private/university partnerships for major infrastructure projects).

 

Q. What is your background and how does that help in your current role?
A. I am a statistician who was formerly Vice-Principal at Royal Holloway, University of London, with responsibility for the same areas. Before that, I was Director of Information Services, responsible for the libraries and IT.

 

Q. HEFCE's OA policy for the REF post 2014 was announced recently - how much did the policy change as a result of the consultation?
A. We had a two-phased consultation – in the first phase we established some general principles, for which we received wide approval; the second phase dealt with the complex implementation issues, especially compliance. We were particularly concerned to ensure that academics’ best work could be submitted to the REF and that universities would be able to support their academics in finding the best way to publish their work, rather than this becoming an area of tension. We received input from around 200 individuals, learned societies, universities, publishers, and others, and were able to develop solutions based on some very clever ideas from them about how to develop policy that would work for all parties.

 

Q. The HEFCE policy is seen as being Green. Will more be done to facilitate Gold?
A. We don’t see our policy as favorable to either route to OA and, in fact, we have deliberately avoided use of the word ‘preference’. We wanted to develop a policy that allowed people to choose every possible way of making their material available OA.

 

Q. It also mandates HEIs to post all output (Green and Gold). Is there still scope for a CHORUS-style approach, i.e. centralized metadata on the HEI's repository linking to the full text article on the publisher's platform?
A. There is no CHORUS-like (or indeed SHARE-like) solution readily available now, and we need to provide a mechanism for people to be able to plan their submissions for the Research Excellence Framework (REF) to take place around 2020. The focus of HEFCE’s OA policy is research assessment, which we anticipate will include receiving journal articles for assessment. Since the UK already has a strong repository infrastructure, with increasing levels of interoperability, we believe that a system built around repositories is the right solution for implementing HEFCE policy. In due course other methods may become available but we needed to have a solution in place now. In time, we hope that publishers will find ways to work together to feed accurate metadata into institutional repositories for green OA. Shared publisher systems like CHORUS become increasingly useful as gold OA becomes more widespread.

 

Q. Given the different policies in place from different funders, how will researchers know which mandate to follow - for example, should a UK researcher receiving funding from Horizon 2020 follow the HEFCE or H2020 requirements?
A. Our policy is consistent with those of all major funders. The embargo periods we have chosen (12 months for STM, 24 for AHSS), and the licensing parameters we have set, are at outer boundaries. Some funders do have shorter periods and insist on particular licenses but that doesn’t preclude articles deriving from research that they’ve funded from being included in our assessment exercise.

 

Q. How much influence do organizations like the Global Research Council and Science Europe have on HEFCE's decision making and vice versa?
A. We keep well in touch with the other parties in scholarly publishing globally, but we are coming at this from the perspective of the UK REF, which looks at the quality of research. So our prime concern is to implement government policy (by encouraging OA) and, at same time, to do so in a way that is manageable by both academics and their institutions. Government sets the policy but implementation is done via the funding bodies, universities, and academics serving on the review panels. We did take close note of what organizations like the Global Research Council, European Research Council, and Science Europe were doing, but we don’t particularly seek to influence them, because they have their own requirements.

 

Q. You mentioned at a recent talk that OA is not a cost cutting exercise - please can you expand on that?
A. Our prime objective is to have articles resulting from research carried out in UK universities made freely available for dissemination. The economic benefits of greater access to research publications far outweigh any additional costs of providing OA. We do understand that some people see OA as an opportunity to cut the cost of the current publishing system, but we believe that if you make this the top priority it will be harder to achieve free availability, which is our top priority. Once the world is mainly OA there will be many more publishing options available – publishers and learned societies have already changed their policies in response to funder requirements, and they are developing many new options (especially for Gold OA). So we are not looking to make savings now but expect that this will happen in future.

 

Q. What do you see as the biggest remaining challenges for implementing OA in the UK?
A. One significant difficulty is around implementation practices, mainly due to misunderstandings around motives. There needs to be a concerted effort to implement OA policies rigorously and to eliminate those misunderstandings. Another challenge is the widespread perception that hybrid OA is leading to increased costs as a result of double-dipping. This is seriously inhibiting the adoption of gold OA, and if publishers want to achieve greater uptake of gold OA then they must address that perception.

 

Q. You've also talked about the importance of collaboration - of all parties working together to implement OA rather than fighting for their particular brand of OA. What do you see as the biggest opportunities?
A.
The current system has worked well because it has offered clear benefits to all parties involved; if we are to adjust the system so that OA is at its heart, we must do so in a way that provides sufficient opportunities for all. Realistically, commercial publishers and learned societies will continue to be part of the landscape – indeed, probably a very major part of it – for many years to come. I want the community to move away from using OA as a stick to beat publishers with, because this only makes it more difficult for them to produce the innovative solutions we all need to further OA. To this end, we have listened to publishers’ concerns about embargo periods, so we are giving them time to see that shorter embargoes won’t be damaging (as we believe is the case). We are also sensitive to the concerns of academics – particularly those in the arts and humanities – who may need more time to find their place within a more mature OA landscape. We also want universities to have the lowest possible administrative and financial burden.

 

Q. Any final thoughts?
A.
Our view of OA will be transformed if the academic community and universities take advantage of the OA options that are already on offer, because a very high proportion of material produced in the UK is already potentially REF 2020 compliant. The community will then be in a very different position to think through whether the gold model is right for the long-term future of scholarly publishing. But for now, our main priority should be to take advantage of what’s already possible– then we can really start to think about how to move forward.

    Meredith Katz
Meredith Katz
Author Marketing, Wiley
linkedin Image courtesy of Forbes

2013 marked professional networking site LinkedIn’s ten year anniversary.  By the end of its first decade, the company netted 225 million members, with a growth rate of over two members per second. [1] Now with 277 million members, LinkedIn has the largest number of users of any online professional network in the world. [2] "LinkedIn is, far and away, the most advantageous social networking tool available to job seekers and business professionals today," according to Forbes. [3] “I’m often asked, ‘How important is it for those already near the top of their careers to be utilizing resource tools such as LinkedIn?’ Most times, these questions come out of not fully understanding what you can do with a LinkedIn account and profile,” says career coach John Crant of SelfRecruiter.com [4]

So, how can you harness LinkedIn’s vast audience and  successfully showcase and disseminate your published content?

Utilize your strongest promotional tool on LinkedIn - your profile. Make your profile a positive tool in promoting the circulation of your published content:

   

  1. Tell your entire story. Assess potential omissions in your profile - have you listed all of your occupational experiences?  Education? Awards? Prior accomplishments may seem small, ancient, or downright irrelevant, until you shift your perspective. LinkedIn users visiting your profile probably don’t know the narrative of your career. A lapse in your profile is a missed demonstration of growth and of ambition. An earlier achievement may not reflect your current work but it will enrich your profile ‘story.’ By establishing the scope of your achievements, you grow common interests, expand your circles, and increase access to you and your published content.
  2. Frame your profile. By positioning your most relevant accomplishments first, you increase the likelihood that a visitor will read them and continue reading. Your publications will default to the bottom of your page. Reposition ‘Publications’ to the uppermost portion of your profile, under ‘Experiences.’ Select ‘Profile,’ then choose ‘Edit Profile.’ Click the arrows on the top right side of the box you wish to move. Hold and drag the selected portion of your profile to their desired spot.
  3. Make it powerful and concise. Avoid verbosity. Cut out unnecessary qualifiers and weak verbs. Capture your accomplishments and other users’ attention with résumé action verbs, leaving them more compelled, and with more time, to read your published content.
  4. Be public. With LinkedIn’s vast user base, consider the scope of potential users as well as users you’d like to target your work to. Set your profile to ‘Edit.’ Scroll down to the ‘Connections’ section and select ‘customize visibility.’ Play around with the privacy controls of your account, such as tailoring your activity ‘broadcasts’ and ‘feeds.’ Examine how traditional approaches of disseminating your published content (e.g. live networking or print collateral) compare to technology driven ones. Set attainable goals for your LinkedIn use (such as increase monthly views by X%, make X number of connections) engage with the platform and measure your success according to your set goals.
  5. Highlight your work. When a paper is published or a book goes to press, add it to the publications section of your profile. . Title all publications precisely, list authors in contribution order, and add a live link to your articles. If relevant, consider including the number of citations your article has received, the Altmetrics score, or links to positive press coverage generated by your book or article. By listing your published work you create additional portals to your LinkedIn profile, promoting traffic to your page and circulation of your current and previous published content.
  6. Showcase your honors and awards. Have you won an award? Received an honor? Been featured in a major blog or magazine? List it under ‘Honors & Awards.’ Consider attaching related visuals such as corresponding images, videos, presentations, URLs, or documents as illustration of your achievement.
  7. Add images, videos, presentations, and documents. LinkedIn’s launch of the Professional Portfolio marked an increase in functionality, encouraging users to showcase their work in a new way - through upload of images, videos, presentations and documents. "From the analyst who makes annual predictions on tech trends to the 3D animator who is looking to fund a new short film, the opportunities are limitless for how professionals can now use the LinkedIn profile to help showcase these unique stories in a visual way," said Udi Milo, project manager at LinkedIn. Featured content must be public URLs hosted by LinkedIn or one of the approved services (including sites like YouTube, Pinterest, SlideShare, Spotify, TED and Twitter). Attached files are limited to 100MB size.To add images, documents, presentations, or videos to your LinkedIn profile, set your profile to ‘Edit.’ Under each of the entries in your ‘Summary’, ‘Experience,’ and ‘Education’ sections choose the square with a symbol icon. Click this to upload a file or link to content you wish to share. You can also move media samples from one section to another. Do this by clicking the drop-down menu under ‘Move this media to’ and choose the section of your profile you'd like to move it to. Then click Save. To rearrange items within the same section of your profile, click and drag them to the spot you want. Mix up your visual media with a variety of figures, images, photos, screenshots, video, and presentations. Remember, each time you change your visual content in Professional Portfolio, it displays on the news feed, showcasing your published content to other LinkedIn users.
  8. Create an ORCID ID. Open Researcher and Contributor ID (ORCID) is an open, non-profit organization that maintains an international registry of unique researcher identifiers and a method of linking research activities to those identifiers. You can include your ORCID ID on your webpage, when you submit publications, apply for grants, and in any research workflow to ensure you get credit for your work. [5]

 

[1] http://ourstory.linkedin.com/

[2] http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/gadgets-and-tech/news/linkedin-passes-15-million-user-landmark-in-uk–including-five-mermaids-9186920.html

[3] http://www.forbes.com/sites/dailymuse/2012/07/06/your-linkedin-intervention-5-changes-you-must-make/

[4] http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/jcaf.21935/abstract

[5] http://orcid.org/content/about-orcid

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